Why is John Lennon’s Voice Like That in “I Am the Walrus”?

When it comes to iconic songs from The Beatles, “I Am the Walrus” is undoubtedly one of them.

The song’s bizarre lyrics and haunting melody make it one of the most enigmatic tracks in the band’s catalogue.

However, what sets the song apart is John Lennon’s distinctive voice. The way he sings the lyrics in “I Am the Walrus” is nothing like his other songs, leaving fans wondering why.

In this article, we’ll explore why John Lennon’s voice sounds so unusual in “I Am the Walrus.”

The Seed Keyword: Why is John Lennon’s Voice Like That in “I Am the Walrus”?

The unique and recognizable sound of John Lennon’s voice is one of the defining features of The Beatles’ music.

Still, even among his signature vocal style, his voice in “I Am the Walrus” is strikingly different. In this section, we’ll examine some of the reasons why.

The Influence of Drugs

The late 1960s were an era of experimentation and free expression, and many musicians were exploring the world of psychedelic drugs.

The Beatles were no exception, and many of their songs were written and recorded while under the influence. According to Beatles lore, John Lennon wrote “I Am the Walrus” after taking LSD.

It’s possible that the drug influenced his vocal performance, leading to the song’s otherworldly sound.

Use of Distortion and Effects

Another explanation for John Lennon’s voice in “I Am the Walrus” is the use of distortion and effects. The song was recorded during the era when the use of studio effects was at an all-time high.

Engineers were experimenting with new technologies to create new sounds, and The Beatles were at the forefront of this trend. One effect used on the track was a Leslie speaker, which created a swirling, dizzying sound.

This effect, along with the use of distortion, could have contributed to the distorted sound of John Lennon’s voice.

The Influence of Lewis Carroll

The lyrics of “I Am the Walrus” are full of surreal imagery and non-sequiturs, much like the works of Lewis Carroll. According to John Lennon, he was inspired by a surreal poem he had written as a child.

In an interview, he said, “I thought, ‘Where could I get a silly word like ‘walrus’? It was the old ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ bit from Through the Looking-Glass. I thought, ‘This is good,’ and then I wrote the lyrics around it.”

It’s possible that Lennon’s intention was to match the surreal nature of the lyrics with a vocal style that was equally unconventional.

Lennon’s Unique Vocal Style

Finally, it’s worth noting that John Lennon had a distinctive vocal style that was unlike anyone else’s.

His voice was raw, emotional, and powerful, and he often sang with a hint of desperation or longing. In “I Am the Walrus,” he pushed his voice to new limits, using falsetto, growls, and other vocal techniques that he rarely employed in other songs.

It’s possible that the unusual sound of his voice was simply a result of his unique vocal style combined with the other factors mentioned above.


1. Did John Lennon use drugs while recording “I Am the Walrus”?

According to Beatles lore, John Lennon wrote “I Am the Walrus” after taking LSD. While there’s no way to know for sure if he was under the influence while recording the song, it’s certainly possible.

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